Battlestar Galactica Revisited: 2.06 Home Part 1
Ronald D Moore's re imagining of the 1970's sci-fi series Battlestar Galactica set a gold standard, both for sci-fi and TV reboots. The darker, grittier re imagining, that saw a fleet of human ships fleeing the dreaded Cylons in search of Earth, won a whole host of awards and critical acclaims over its seven-year run. With the series looking to go through another quasi-reboot under show runner Michael Lesslie, we look back at the first reboot that defined the early days of twenty-first century television. Next up, the conflict between Adama and Roslin reaches its endgame in the first of season two-parter Home...
Home Part 1 feels like the beginning of a season finale and indeed, it is the beginning of the end to the conflict that has been bubbling away since season one's Kobol's Last Gleaming Part 1. With the fleet divided, Roslin and Apollo leading the rebellion to a mythical temple on Kobol and Starbuck returning with the golden arrow that will lead humanity to Earth, this is the end game of what is essentially been a nine-episode sprawling narrative.
There are plenty of game changers in this episode. Joining Starbuck is Helo and Cylon Sharon, bearing his child and allying herself with humanity. We see Roslin's ruthless nature the moment they are reunited with the rebels over Kobol, making a promise to look after the Cylon before immediately ordering her to be thrown out of the airlock. The president doesn't mess around and the beauty of this storyline is that you get both view points. Why should Roslin trust Sharon? And yet after all Helo has gone through on Caprica, seeing the woman he loves, pregnant with his child, facing execution is horrific.
There's also some interesting dynamics at play between Apollo and Starbuck. Coming off of brief dalliance with Anders on Caprica, she greets Apollo with a passionate kiss and there is a real sense that their bond has renewed; at this point, with Anders seemingly gone forever, it looks as if they might finally forge a romantic relationship. Naturally, Battlestar Galactica never really takes the most obvious path and the relationship between Apollo and Starbuck - while strong - is not something that ever takes an easy and obvious route.
Taking the journey to the surface of Kobol, it really feels as if this storyline is begun in Kobol's Last Gleaming Part 1 is coming full circle. The return of the Cylons and the death of Elosha is tragic. The priestess warns of bloodshed in the search of the temple but she feels such an important part of Roslin's life at this point, her death is painful to watch. In an impressive roster of main and guest stars throughout Battlestar Galactica, Lorena Gale has brought a somewhat serene presence to the character of Elosha and she is another actor who is sorely missed as the show progresses.
There's also plenty of tension as 'ally' Tom Zarek and his right hand man Meier plot to eliminate Apollo as a ploy to gain power. It's a dangerous dynamic, compounded by the presence - and tension - of Sharon in the group, that will pay off in the concluding part two. Richard Hatch is another wonderful member of the recurring ensemble, offering a very different perspective on the remnants of humanity outside the military and governmental roles within the show.
Another recurring character really comes into her own this episode. Kandyse McClure might not have the gravitas of the show's biggest stars, but she has always held her own as Dualla. Home Part 1 sees her really shine as she convinces Commander Adama to change his mind. It's a powerful scene, with McClure and Edward James Olmos delivering a softer, emotional bond. Adama's change of heart, rallying the troops to reunite with his son and Laura Roslin ends the episode on an uplifting note. Normally, the presence of a 'to be continued...' ends the first-parter on a dramatic, forbidding note. But this is something different. It signals the conflict running through season two is coming to an end.
Home Part 1 sees the civil conflict between Adama and Roslin reach its endgame, setting the stage for a satisfying closer chapter on the saga in part two. There is plenty of tension throughout, but also a sense of hope going into the credits. That's something that has been missing from the show for quite some time...